LYNCHBURG — Randolph-Macon Woman’s College announced Monday a comprehensive campus-wide restructuring and reorganization plan designed to strengthen the financial foundation of the College and address the financial concerns raised by the College’s accrediting agency. The plan includes a reorganization of administrative offices and departments and a reduction in force of about 15 percent of college staff positions.
The reorganization was announced by Interim President Ginger Worden at an all-staff meeting on Monday. “While this has been a challenging year for the College, the hard decisions we are currently making will continue to make us stronger as an institution,” Worden told the group. “We’re doing everything necessary to position the College to embrace a healthy and vibrant future.”
The plan is the product of months of careful study to evaluate ways the College could operate more efficiently and effectively without compromising the quality of the student experience on campus.
The reduction in force will result in the elimination of 30-35 staff positions. Included in this number are full- and part-time positions that have been eliminated, voluntary early retirements and open positions that will not be filled. High level management positions are included in the reduction.
The College solicited volunteers for early retirement and adjusted its plans based on the employees who volunteered and the positions they occupied. Severance packages have been offered to all affected employees, both those who volunteered and those who did not. The Human Resources Office has facilitated assistance from the Employee Assistance Program and the Virginia Employment Commission to staff members affected by the restructuring plan.
“A good institution constantly makes these types of reviews and adjustments,” said Lucy Hooper, president-elect of the Board of Trustees. “While it is hard to make decisions that affect the very people who are so valuable, we ultimately have to take the course of action that will strengthen the institution.”
In addition to the review of staff positions and administrative departments, the College is also currently involved in a study of academic areas. The 2007-2008 academic program will not be affected by these changes.
“Academics are at the heart of what we do,” said Dean of the College William Coulter. “We will make sure we don’t do anything to hamper or hurt the caliber of the education we offer. However, external and internal reviews have indicated that our student/faculty ratio of 8:1 is out of line with typical ratios at our peer institutions. We are addressing this in two ways: by increasing our enrollment and by looking at faculty numbers.”
“Many strong institutions restructure,” Worden said. “But it is especially difficult in a small and close-knit community such as this. However difficult, we must continue to make the tough decisions that will strengthen this college. We are completely optimistic about our potential as a coeducational institution, and have seen a dramatic increase in interest from prospective students during a difficult year. The choices made this year will enable this college to face the future as a leaner and stronger institution.”